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When Melania Asked To Borrow A Painting, Museum Offered A Literal Toilet
26 January 2018, 01:42 | Bernice Figueroa
The White House Asked For A Van Gogh, The Guggenheim Offered A Golden Toilet
The Guggenheim Museum has reportedly turned down a White House request to borrow a Van Gogh painting, and has instead offered the Trump administration the use of a golden toilet.
Spector told the White House that the painting the Trumps had requested, Van Gogh's 1888 watercolor "Landscape With Snow", was "prohibited from travel except for the rarest of occasions" and was on its way to Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.
The piece, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan's, is an 18-karat gold, fully functioning toilet.
The museum, through a spokesperson, declined to comment.
The White House did not respond to inquiries about the matter. The toilet was deinstalled last September, around the time when curator Nancy Spector made a decision to respond to the President's request.
Cattelan spoke to a Guggenheim blogger in 2016 before the installation's opening about the connection between Trump and his creation.
Cattelan, who lives in NY, could not be reached Thursday afternoon but told the Washington Post that his offer to the Trumps is "a very delicate subject".
The Guggenheim had displayed "America" for some time, allowing tens of thousands of visitors to use the gilded toilet, but the museum offered to transport it to the White House along with instructions for how to use it.
Cattelan "would like to offer it to the White House for a long-term loan", Spector said in the email.
"Everything seems absurd until we die and then it makes sense", he added.
Spector is a Trump foe who has spoken out against the president. She explained that the painting - "prohibited from travel except for the rarest of occasions" - was on its way to be exhibited at the Guggenheim's museum in Bilbao, Spain, and then it would return to NY "for the foreseeable future".
"We are sorry not to be able to accommodate your original request", Spector's letter to the Trumps concluded, "but remain hopeful that this special offer may be of interest".
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